Built in 1980, by Superior Boat Works Incorporated of Greenville, Mississippi (hull #147) as the Melinda Brent for the Brent Towing Company Incorporated of Greenville, Mississippi.
In 1998, the tug was acquired by the Kirby Corporation of Channelview, Texas. Where she retained her name.
In 2020, she was phased out of service and was "laid up" at Waverly, Kansas.
In 2021, the tug was acquired by the W.A. Ellis Construction Company of Independence, Missouri. Where she was renamed as the Sonny K.
Repowered in 2007, she is driven by two Cummins KTA38 diesel engines. With Twin Disc reduction gears, at a ratio of 6.18:1. She is a twin screw towboat, rated at 2,000 horsepower.